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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 1, 2022
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JP O’Hare or Jeanne Beattie

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State Education Department Celebrates Lonnie G. Bunch III, Secretary of the Smithsonian, as the 2022 Empire State Archives and History Award Laureate

The New York State Archives Partnership Trust, Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. and Commissioner Betty A. Rosa today celebrate Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute Lonnie G. Bunch III as the 2022 Empire State Archives & History Award laureate. The award recognizes Secretary Bunch’s outstanding contribution to the nation’s historical narrative and increasing access to essential materials that support the study of human culture.  

Secretary Bunch is the founding director of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture and the first historian, and African American, to be Secretary of the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr., Commissioner Rosa, and the New York State Archives Partnership Trust will honor Secretary Bunch with the award at an event in the Cultural Education Center tonight at 7 PM. The event is open to the media and will be simulcast to virtual ticket holders across the nation.

Board of Regents Chancellor Lester W. Young, Jr. said, “The comprehensive work of Secretary Lonnie G. Bunch III has touched the lives of so many people. Through his noteworthy efforts, he has given voice to the voiceless, illuminated the legacies and truths of those once hidden in the shadows of our society, and created an enduring narrative of history for all to appreciate. We thank Secretary Bunch for his service and congratulate him on receiving The Empire State Archives & History Award for his many contributions to history and society.”

Commissioner Rosa said, “As a trailblazer and devoted historian, Lonnie G. Bunch III has worked tirelessly for decades to help us all better understand the realities of our shared history as Americans. He has preserved significant artifacts, memories, and information of historical and symbolic importance for generations to appreciate. For this and so much more, we thank Secretary Bunch for ensuring these relics and stories from our past continue to have their rightful place in society and are shared with future generations of Americans so they can understand our nation’s history.”

“We are proud to present this award of distinction to Secretary Bunch,” said Stephen Pagano, Archives Partnership Trust Board President. “The Empire State Archives & History Award acknowledges the outstanding contributions by a national figure to advance the understanding and uses of history in society. His successful service is a testament to the power of humanities programs to reflect, preserve and teach the history of our culture and its people.”

As Secretary, Lonnie G. Bunch III oversees 21 museums, 21 libraries, the National Zoo, numerous research centers, and several education units and centers. He is a widely published author. His most recent book, A Fool’s Errand: Creating the National Museum of African American History and Culture in the Age of Bush, Obama, and Trump, chronicles the making of the museum that would become one of the most popular destinations in Washington, DC.

Lonnie G. Bunch III joins an illustrious list of Empire State Archives & History Award Laureates. Tonight’s event will feature an intimate armchair-style conversation with Lonnie G. Bunch III and host, renowned Lincoln scholar, and Trust Board Member Harold Holzer. Tickets for the event are still available and on sale at the Archives Partnership Trust website.

The 2022 Empire State Archives & History Award event sponsors include Behan Communications, Crowne Plaza Albany | The Desmond Hotel, Charter Communications, Greenberg Traurig LLC, History Channel, Hodgson Russ LLP, Humanities New York, Times Union, Lamar Advertising, and WMHT.

The New York State Archives Partnership Trust is a statewide non-profit whose mission is to keep over 350 years of New York’s rich documentary heritage preserved by the New York State Archives accessible and alive through education, preservation, and outreach programs. The New York State Archives is the largest repository of state government records in the nation, holding over 270 million records of state and colonial governments dating back to the Dutch colonial period in 1630. The New York State Archives is a program of the State Education Department’s Office of Cultural Education.

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